The weather begins to warm up and that means yard work. Last year we plowed up a large chunk of the back yard and planted grass since previous actions had ruined most of it. (Pro tip: putting a large tarp on a section of your yard for a couple of weeks actually kills all the grass under it.) The grass has done very well and I look forward to doing a bit of reseeding to fill in the few patches here and there that exist. With the chunk of grass out of the way, the next phase begins, which is tree removal.
Now, I like trees. I hate pine trees and sweetgum trees. The reasons I hate those two sorts of trees is as follows. Pine trees are very tall, provide no useful shade, and shed pine straw and pine cones, neither of which I want in my yard. Leaves are fairly easy to clean up with a rake or a blower. Pine straw is a pain in the ass to clean up, which is probably why people use it for ground cover, since it sticks to the ground so well. Sweetgums, on the other hand, have these little tiny smaller-than-a-golf-ball sized pine cones which I prefer to think of as booby traps. They drop off the tree, hide in the grass, waiting for you to come along barefoot and cripple you. These nefarious trees bring us to our topic: chainsaws.
Cutting down trees with a chainsaw is awesome… as long as you judge the height of the tree properly and you don’t destroy your fence. I haven’t destroyed my fence yet, and don’t plan to, but I am fully aware that it could happen. Eventually I’ll have to pay someone to come get the big pines because I’m not about to scale a hundred foot or taller tree and begin taking it down in sections. For now though, I’m taking down all the little ones. But I’ve come to realize that despite being in decent shape and actually working out daily, managing a chainsaw requires a completely different set of muscles than pretty much everything else in my live. After a short period of cutting, my arms feel like jello from the strain and vibration. The yard is getting clear, however, so the price is worth it.
I can’t wait to borrow the neighbor’s chipper to cut up all these branches. Also, since we’ll have so much wood we can’t chip, I’m thinking we’ll need to have a whole bunch of bonfire parties.